Friday, May 13, 2022

Sentenced to Death

 I have begun the rewriting of SENTENCED TO DEATH.  It is always interesting and sometimes upsetting to see what I have written.  Over time, my internal mantra has become keep it straight forward.  

There are always these turns of phrases that I and other writers fall in love with-- and then move heaven and earth to try to make them work.  Now I realize it is not only a waste of time, but the turned phrases aren't even that great. 

There's even a saying about it which goes something about kill your darlings.  So far I have hacked away a few and I'm sure I'll encounter more. 

I have limited time, as always to complete the rewrite and I recently found out I won't be working with the same editor which is disconcerting since we worked on three books together and I knew what to expect.  Publishing seems to be an ephemeral  business.  I have been watching all the original episodes of Sex and the City.  When Carrie gets her book deal she's dealing with two editors who seem to have a lot of clout.  And then in the episode last night, one of the editors has been let go, along with the option for a second book from Carrie's boyfriend.

I guess the book business is on my mind since there is a well regarded author whose last book was a disappointment in the manuscript I'm working on. 

In this book, Veronica is writing copy for a local house and garden tour. All the houses in the book are based on real places, most of which I have actually been in.  But since it has been too many years to mention since I've seen the insides, it was nice to be able to revisit them courtesy of sites like Zillow and Redfin.  It's also a little eerie when I see pictures of rooms that I connect memories to.   Is there some kind of vibration  still swirling around, left over from when I was there?  Do houses have memories?

Meanwhile, the painters finished at last and a lot of stuff that needs to be put back where it belongs.  But at least there is no one looking in the window while I work at the computer.

Now it's back to the rewrite.


Linda O. Johnston said...

It's always interesting to me, Betty, to re-read something and find phrases that might wind up seeming too familiar, then attempt to replace them with others that are different but work. But that's part of the editing process. Best of luck with your "killing your darlings." And I don't know if houses have memories, but I wouldn't be surprised!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, what's strange and interesting is looking at the photos of these houses and seeing rooms where I have distinct memories, like where I wrote my first journal entry when I was babysitting.